Mandatory elementary-school violin classes are a hit
Mandatory violin classes at an Indiana elementary school teach dedication and self-confidence by partnering young students with mentors and teachers from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
Jeremy Hogan/Bloomington Herald-Times/AP
Ask Ryan Campbell about his experience playing violin for Fairview Elementary School's String Project, and he'll rattle off his favorite song, how it took him a while to catch on and that he gets nervous before playing for an audience.
"You have to believe in yourself," he said.
Ryan is one of more than a dozen third- and fourth-graders who have decided to continue being a part of Fairview's string program and who recently performed in a recital at the school.
The class, which is mandatory for first- and second-graders, began four years ago through a collaboration with the IU Jacobs School of Music, particularly Brenda Brenner, associate professor at IU and director of the program.
This year, 15 third- and fourth-graders chose to continue the program, dedicating one night a week to group lessons and taking private lessons during school.
Kathy Heise, music teacher at Fairview, said as the students continue to learn, their confidence and investment in playing the violin continues to grow.